Thursday, January 8, 2015

神風とメダル表彰者

Michael Yon
January 7, 2015
神風とメダル表彰者

フィリピンの神風記念碑に来た.彼ら神風パイロットが酷くさげすまれ,一方で,同様なことをやったと思われる我が軍の兵士が讃えられていることの二重性について,ここ何年か考えている.

1944年の海軍一等兵のリチャード・アンダーソンの死後,授与された名誉勲章に刻まれた文言から:「海軍一等兵,アンダーソンは勇敢にも自己犠牲を選んだ.手投げ弾の上に自ら覆い被さり,爆発の衝撃を全てその体で受け止めて仲間を救った.死に直面しての彼の勇敢さと,そのたぐいまれなる愛国心は米国海軍の気高い伝統に適ったものである.彼は雄々しく命を祖国に捧げた」

リチャードへの表彰文は,とてもへりくだったものだ.他のメダルの表彰文と同じように.

9/11の攻撃の時に,君は米国空軍のF-16のパイロットであったとする.たまたま武器を搭載していないF-16ジェットで飛んでいた.そのときにラジオから3機の旅客機がハイジャックされ激突したとのニュースが流れてくる.4機目のハイジャック機は君から10マイル離れた所を飛んでいる.その時,旅客機を空から墜落させることができるのは米国内でも君だけしかいない.君と武器を搭載していないF-16ジェットのみだ.

君にとって最後の審判の瞬間だ.旅客機に命令が下る.君は青い錠剤か,赤い錠剤を選ばなければいけない.赤い錠剤を選ぶと,滑走路まで一目散に飛んでいける.F-16を安全に着陸させるが,一方で数千人が死に,あなたはベッドで生きて目覚める.空軍基地の外で,何て弱虫かとあざ笑われて.
青い錠剤を選ぶと,君の体は無くなってしまう.君の銅像が建てられる.献身的な行動は言い伝えとなる,全ての軍人達と,全ての米国人に.子供達,高速道路,そして広場に,あなたの名前が命名される.そして青の名誉勲章が授与される.

1944年の時点で,事実上,日本が自国への進行を押しとどめる可能性はゼロであった.
我々の軍隊は日本軍を徹底的に追い詰めた.その過程で我々の軍隊の大勢が青の錠剤を選んだ.日本軍には,神風という,ほんのわずかのチャンスだけが残されていた.

ずっと昔に神風が日本を救ったことがある.それは民族の記憶の一部となっている.
日本軍は敵であった.しかしながら神風という青い錠剤を選んだことに対しては,我々は畏敬の念をもたねばならない.


Michael Yon
January 7, 2015

Kamikaze vs. Medal of Honor recipient
I came across this Kamikaze monument today in the Philippines. For many years, I have wondered about the duplicity in holding Kamikaze pilots in gross contempt, while holding our own troops who perform similar feats in highest regard.
From the authentic posthumous Medal of Honor citation for Marine Pfc. Richard Anderson, 1944:
"Pfc. Anderson fearlessly chose to sacrifice himself and save his companions by hurling his body upon the grenade and taking the full impact of the explosion. His personal valor and exceptional spirit of loyalty in the face of almost certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."
Richard's citation is humbling, as are all the Medal of Honor citations.
Imagine that during the 9/11 attacks, you are a US Air Force F-16 pilot. You happen to be flying with your unarmed jet, when the radio call comes that three airliners have been diverted by hijackers and have crashed. A fourth hijacked airliner is just ten miles from you.
America's only chance of getting that jet down from the sky is YOU. You and your unarmed F-16.
This is your moment of truth. An order comes to ram the airliner. You can take the blue pill, or the red.
If you take the red pill, you fly to a runway, land your F-16, and thousands of people die and you wake up in your bed still alive, out of the Air Force, ridiculed as the coward that you are.
If you take the blue pill, your body is never recovered.
Statues are made of you. Your dutiful actions become an object of myth, an inspiration for all service members, and for all Americans. Children, highways, and ballparks are named after you.
You have earned the blue Medal of Honor.
By 1944, the Japanese had practically zero chance of stopping an invasion of the homeland. Our military was whipping them badly, and many of our own people were taking the blue pill in the process.
For the Japanese there was at least a slight chance for intervention through a divine wind. A divine wind had saved the Japanese long before, and it was part of the collective memory.
The Japanese were the enemy. But it must be respected that Kamikazes chose the blue pill.









19 comments:

Thurwachter said...

Agreed. I am half Japanese so it has been easier for me to appreciate the sacrifice of all those who took the blue pill on the Japanese side, if for nothing else than to delay the inevitable invasion of the homeland for 1 more day, 1 more hour, 1 more second. I am convinced this dedication helped keep our Emperor in place even if no longer as a God (I don't believe our Emperor is actually divine) however it at least kept the lineage alive as a DNA receipt of Japan's history since ancient times, and I do think that is something very much worth dying for.

During my own upbringing, I have swung from extreme to extreme on my opinion on who was to blame for WW II, and I think I have now settled somewhere in the middle, but the whole process has allowed me to see the world more openly with all of it's shades of grey. Even though I really have no ties to the Islamic World, having watched some documentaries on Bin Laden, I do feel he deserves respect for someone who chose to distance himself from his privileged life and choose to live in a cave.

That being said I must admit I think it was a good thing that we were able to kill him, but I also know I feel that way because I was born on this of the fence.

I really hope Lockheed Martin's announcement of being close to a viable Nuclear Fusion breakthrough is close so that we all have access to cheap infinite energy and no longer have to kill each other over limited resources as we did blatantly in the 20th Century and as we do now indirectly today.

ukiko said...

先日、サキ報道官が日本は謝罪するべきだという報道がヤフーニュースに出ていましたが、内容が歪曲されていたそうです。でも、日本のマスメディアは訂正を報道しません。これでは、アメリカに対する印象が悪くなるばかりで残念です。
スポンサーが韓国系中国系であれば、日本を擁護する意見を報道してはならない。というのが今の日本で残念です。
日本を非難する人は知識人。日本を擁護する人は軍国主義だという風潮が日本にありますが、そんな国は他にあるでしょうか。

ukiko said...

記事と関係ない投稿ですいませんでした。

Cook said...

Thanks, just learning and heard.

Moguro Fukuzo said...

Winston Churchill thought highly of Kamikaze comparing it to Greek story: Horatius over the bridge.

Against the overwhelming foe, the last hope is to: 1) buy time to burn the bridge (leading to the gate of the Castle); 2) teach the future generation that the self-sacrifice is the highest moral duty…… This is what Churchill wanted to say.

Who started the war and why?

Most of Americans believe that Japan started the war by sneak attack at Pearl Harbor. However they never think why Japan was provoked to that extent of resorting to the war. It was the first shot. But why did Japan need to shoot the first?

Is pre-emptive attack the evil, absolutely crazy thing? Is it is, then what was the Iraq War? Iraq War was started by a pre-emptive attack made by President G. Bush to find out the Weapons of Mass Destruction.

There should have been diplomatic fallout before the Pearl Harbor. Without analyzing the events and decisions of top-leaders leading up to the Pearl Harbor, we cannot prevent the future wars and death of young people.

BTW…to anyone who wants to know more about Kamikaze, I recommend to read “Listen to the Voices from the Sea,” the last words of Kamikaze pilots.

I read the original Japanese version “Kike-wadatumi-no-koe きけわだつみの声” after my trip to the U.S. 20 years ago. During the trip, I stopped off at a Battleship Museum near Mississippi State (I forgot the name of the WWII battleship) and saw the remains of a Zero plane actually dived into the ship.

Takeshi said...

特攻を表彰しすぎるのは、軍の上層部が同じ過ちを繰り返す原因にもなります。
表彰より慰霊が重要と思います。

Anonymous said...

たまに海外の人たちが日本を貶めようとしてか特攻隊の人達は軍に洗脳されて
死んでいった人達って言う人がいるけど全く違いますよね。
彼らも死にたくないし、でも1分1秒でも連合軍の侵攻を
食い止められるのなら、愛する人を守ることができるのなら
と思って突撃していったんです。それは彼らの親や妻や
恋人に宛てた手紙を読めばよく分かります。残した人達がただただ
新しい時代を生きてくれることだけを願っていたことを。
多分こういうのは英雄が好きなアメリカだったらひたすら
英雄ストーリーを作るのだろうけど日本は違うんです。
英雄視して礼賛するのではなく感謝と畏敬の念をもって
接するんです。だから靖国へ行くのです。

moguro fukuzo said...


The most touching, heart-moving part I found in the book “Listen to the Voices from Sea” was one pilot’s confession that “if the next Japan does not come without our death, we would die here.”

Most of Kamikaze pilots were early 20s. They would have dreams of their own. However, they met the most tragic days in the history of Japan. How can 20-something young men consider that “if the next days do not come to our country without our death, we are willing to die here”?

My hobby from young days has been “history of war” and “the battlefield tour.” If you look into the history of Japan, you will find that the Japanese are very rational. Our race does not go crazy even in the war. Suicide attacks are very rare. Exceptions I can think of are only: this Kamikaze Attacks; and the 1336 Battle of Minato-gawa (湊川の戦い), in which Warlord Masashige Kusunoki (楠木正成) fought a hopeless battle against the overwhelming army of another Warlord Takauji Ashikaga(足利尊氏). Estimates of both forces vary depending on historians but I think 200-strong vs. 10,000-strong is sound estimate.

It was suicide. It was martyr's death to show royalty to the emperor in Kyoto. As Parting of Sakurai (桜井の別れ)was taught from the age of small children before the war, Kamikaze pilots may have thought of themselves as martyr, fighting on the side of Japan and emperor to death, by selling their life at the highest price on the enemy.

Sakurai is the place from where two roads go apart, from which you may go to either Minato-gawa (now Kobe) or Osaka then Kawachi (the birthplace of the Kusunoki Clan).

There, Masashige told his first-born son Masatsura and large part of the Clan’s army to go back to their birthplace, permitting only 200 royal retainers to go along with him for the losing battle to die.

You cannot choose your country you are born into. If you are born in Japan, you are Japanese. If you are a solider, and no surrender order is given from the high command, you have to fight using every sort of weapon at hand.

War may be won or lost. After losing a war, what will remain for a country? My trip in the U.S. 20 years ago was to visit battlefields of the American Civil War. When I visited Richmond, Virginia, I saw the magnificent statue of Robert E. Lee standing at the center of the city. He may be the general most beloved by Americans. However, at the same time, he is the general who killed Americans the most. People of the Confederate Rebel Army cherished the figures such as Stonewall Jackson, James Longstreet, and JEB Stuart and their brave soldiers, as we cherish our WWII generals such as Isoroku Yamamoto, Tomofumi Yamashita, Iwane Matsui. WHAT’S WRONG WITH IT? Samurai knows another Samurai. That’s why we Japanese feel more comfortable with Americans than the rest of Asians.

I believe that the Yasukuni Shrine is not Arlington National Cemetery in Japan’s version as many of us claim. It is more like Walhara, the final resting place of fighting men.

Moguro Fukuzo said...

P.S.
In my opinion, Chinese and Koreans are half-humans who still live in the ancient or the medieval dark days before the Enlightenment.

UAN said...

With respect Moguro, one of the issues that Chinese and Koreans have with Japan is reflected in your attitude that the Japanese consider them (Chinese and Koreans) half-humans.

The foundation of any effort to improve relationships, whether it is between individuals or nations, is to start by affording each other basic human respect and dignity.

Human history is replete with examples of unspeakable atrocities when one group views another as less than fully human.

By having that attitude towards the Chinese and Koreans, in a very real sense, you validate the arguments and grievances those countries and people have with Japan, and the Japanese people.

Unknown said...

Moguro Fukuzo --

You wrote:

"P.S. In my opinion, Chinese and Koreans are half-humans who still live in the ancient or the medieval dark days before the Enlightenment."

You will lose nearly every American reader with that thinking, including me. Korean and Chinese are not half-humans. That is the type of thought process that leads to wars, and to atrocities.

Moguro Fukuzo said...

Americans only tell superficial face values when it comes to racial issues.

Anonymous said...

Let me explain the situation in Japan little.. In genaral, until 2010 there were no negative feelings toward China or Korea in Japan. There was no particular feeling about them. All began with Senkaku/Diaoyu islands issue, which began with violent episode of suspicious Chinese fisherman boat crashing onto Japan coast guard vessel. Then their violation of territorial water remained until now continuous threat to Japan. With that background, Korean unti-Japan propaganda began to oppress Japan, but in reality they have been doing so always, with much money invested.

These continuous attacks caused the rise of conservatism in Japan. Conservatism itself has been absent (maybe oppressed and silenced as well) in Japanese society. For that reason, I believe, some people don't know how to express their feelings and thought in correct manner, especially in internet. Certainly all this is not about race, but culture. In China and Korea anti-Japan propaganda is political tool. But things are complicated and it is not easy to explain Japan's standinpoint. For this reason we appreciate much Mr Yon's research and report.

(Sorry for my poor English)

Moguo Fukuzo said...

To all Chinese and Koreans…..Get this:
http://www.howitzer.jp/topics/oyama.html

JP Michael Yon said...

To: Moguro Fukuzo

I, as a Japanese staff maintaining the blogger, thank you very much for your valuable comments.

JP Michael Yon said...

You wrote:

> You will lose nearly every American reader with that thinking, including me.

Do not insist on trivial things.
That is just a side issue.

JP Michael Yon said...

> 感謝と畏敬の念をもって
> 接するんです。だから靖国へ行くのです。

その通りと思います。

Mogro Fukuzo said...

My comment: "P.S. In my opinion, Chinese and Koreans are half-humans who still live in the ancient or the medieval dark days before the Enlightenment." is not a kind of insult. I REALLY believe so as the result of my research I made in the past couple of years.

If Koreans want my respect, they should stop anti-Japan mambo jumbo mantra. They should stop erecting Comfort Women Memorials in the United States, which is a shameful act to demonstrate their male ancestors were sissy weaklings just looking on abduction of 200,000 young girls. Soon, the first image people in the world will have about S. Korea will be Comfort Women and Prostitutes. Now, many Japanese openly say “Koreans are liars.”

If Chinese want my respect, they should obey teachings of ex-Premier Teng Shao-ping. When he came to Tokyo in 1979, I saw his car going into the Akasaka Palace from the nearby building of Sophia University. He said “When you drink water, you should not forget about the people who dug the well.” However, what did they do in September, 2012 to the people who dug the well? Look at this:
http://www.howitzer.jp/china/page02.html

We laughed and laughed while seeing Chinese were destroying their own properties. Things do not remain that. They were destroying their future. Now Japanese companies are withdrawing from China, and turned their investment focus to ASEAN nations and India. Companies of other countries followed the same. China has been abandoned from the world.

I know racial issues are sensitive matters in the United States. However, “respect” does not automatically come along with you as an obligation of other people. My insight on the two ethno-centric nations will be demonstrated later on as we think about various issues in this blog.

Moguro Fukuzo said...

This is me in 1984. I was one of the 3,000 Japanese youth invited by the Chinese Government back then.
http://www.howitzer.jp/china/page04.html

I deplore that Chinese have become greedy money worshippers who do not care about the rest of the people. I also deplore that Japan and China have come to the near blink of a war today. China’s aggression in all directions made us notice that China is the No.1 threat to the peace of the world. As a citadel of free democracies, we will do our best to contain you.